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A blueprint for how to build a human brain

April 3, 2014

Image of the human fetal brain, reference atlas, color-coded by structure (credit: Allen Institute)

Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have generated a blueprint for how to build a human brain at unprecedented anatomical resolution.

This first major report using data from the  the BrainSpan Atlas of the Developing Human Brain is published in the journal Nature this week. The data provide insight into diseases like autism that are linked to early brain development, and to the origins of human… read more

A Blueprint For ‘Smart’ Health Care

August 2, 2007

New technology from the University of Florida and IBM creates the first-ever roadmap for widespread commercial development of “smart” devices that, for example, take a person’s blood pressure, temperature or respiration rate the minute a person steps into his or her house — then transmit it immediately and automatically to doctors or family.

A Blueprint to Regenerate Limbs

August 19, 2008

To find clues to the salamander’s remarkable ability to regrow damaged limbs and organs, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have sequenced the genes most highly expressed during limb-bud formation and growth.

They found that at least 10,000 genes were transcribed during regeneration, with a few thousand that don’t resemble known genes. They plan to make a gene chip designed to detect levels of some of these… read more

A Book With 90,000 Authors

July 21, 2008

German publisher Bertelsmann plans to publish a book with the most credited individual authors ever–approximately 90,000: “The One-Volume Wikipedia Encyclopedia,” containing the 25,000 most popular articles on German Wikipedia.

A boost for quantum reality

May 9, 2012


In a controversial paper in Nature Physics, theorists claim they can prove that wavefunctions — the entity that determines the probability of different outcomes of measurements on quantum-mechanical particles — are real states.

The paper is thought by some to be one of the most important in quantum foundations in decades. The authors say that the mathematics leaves no doubt that the wavefunction is not just a statistical tool, but rather, a… read more

A Bot That Knows Where It’s Going

May 24, 2002

Evolution Robotics’ new ER1 mobile robot can learn on the fly, enabling it to roam around new environments entirely on its own.

Following simple commands, it can recognize an ever-changing environment by processing 30 still-frame photos a minute looking for a picture that matches its memory. It comes with a digital camera and speech recognition, and voice response systems.

A brain area unique to humans is linked to strategic planning/decision making/multitasking

January 30, 2014

human brain region

Oxford University researchers have identified a specific area of the human brain that appears to be unlike anything in the brains of some of our closest relatives.

MRI imaging of 25 adult volunteers was used to identify key components in the area of the human brain called the ventrolateral frontal cortex, and how these components were connected up with other brain areas. The results were then compared with equivalent… read more

A Brain Implant that Uses Light

February 24, 2010

Researchers at Medtronic are developing a prototype neural implant that uses light to alter the behavior of neurons in the brain.

The device is based on the emerging science of optogenetic neuromodulation, in which specific brain cells are genetically engineered to respond to light.

The company plans to market the device to neuroscience researchers and use it for in-house research on the effects of DBS.

A Brain Scan Identifies Race Bias

December 17, 2003

Scientists have developed a brain scan that can purportedly identify racists.

The technique was used on white volunteers shown photographs of black individuals. In those with racist tendencies, a surge of activity was seen in part of the brain that controls thoughts and behavior. Scientists believe this reflected volunteers’ attempts to curb their latent racism.

“To my knowledge, this is the first study to use brain imaging data… read more

A brain-computer interface for controlling an exoskeleton

August 18, 2015

A volunteer calibrating the exoskeleton brain-computer interface (credit: (c) Korea University/TU Berlin)

Scientists at Korea University and TU Berlin have developed a brain-computer interface (BCI) for a lower limb exoskeleton used for gait assistance by decoding specific signals from the user’s brain.

Using an electroencephalogram (EEG) cap, the system allows users to move forward, turn left and right, sit, and stand, simply by staring at one of five flickering light emitting diodes (LEDs).… read more

A breakthrough in creating transparent brains

Provides new insights into Alzheimer’s disease plaques and enables large-scale connectomic mapping and 3D neural circuit reconstruction
September 15, 2015

This is a 3-D visualization of Aβ plaques (green) and blood vessels (red) in a region of cerebral cortex from a 20-month-old AD model mouse. (credit: RIKEN)

Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan have created a new technique for converting brain tissue into transparent tissue to reveal 3D brain anatomy at very high resolution.

The researchers say they have used the new technique, called ScaleS, to provide new insights into Alzheimer’s disease plaques and for large-scale connectomic mapping and 3D neural circuit reconstruction.

Previous techniques, such as Stanford’s… read more

A Breakthrough in Imaging: Seeing a Virus in Three Dimensions

January 13, 2009

Researchers at IBM Almaden Research Center have captured the first three-dimensional image of a virus, using a new technique, magnetic resonance force microscopy, or MRFM, which is similar to MRI.

They captured a 3-D image of tobacco mosaic virus particles with a spatial resolution down to four nanometers.

A ‘breakthrough’ in rechargeable batteries for electronic devices and electric vehicles

February 26, 2015


Researchers from Singapore’s Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR and Quebec’s IREQ (Hydro-Québec’s research institute) have synthesized a new material that they say could more than double the energy capacity of lithium-ion batteries, allowing for longer-lasting rechargeable batteries for electric vehicles and mobile devices.

The new material for battery cathodes (the + battery pole) in based on a “lithium orthosilicate-related” compound,  Li2MnSiO4, combining lithium, manganese, silicon and oxygen,… read more

A Bridge between Virtual Worlds

August 11, 2008

The first steps in developing virtual-world interoperability are now being tested between Second Life and other independent virtual worlds, with the launch of Linden Lab’s Open Grid Beta.

A bucket-full of this material can absorb all the oxygen in a room

The stored oxygen can be easily released again whenever and wherever needed
October 1, 2014

This exotic crystalline material changes color when absorbing or releasing oxygen. Crystals are black when saturated with oxygen and pink when the oxygen has been released. (Credit: University of Southern Denmark)

A new crystalline material absorbs 160 times more oxygen than in the air around you — only a spoonful bucket-full (10 liters) of it is enough to suck up all the oxygen in a room, according to its developer, Professor Christine McKenzie in the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Southern Denmark.

A few grains of this material might absorb enough oxygen from the… read more

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